(8-26-22) Middletown Area (Pennsylvania) school officials made the announcement yesterday that they have cancelled the 2022 football season due to hazing incidents associated with the football team.
The fall out started when Head Coach of the football team, Scott Acri, resigned on Monday, August 15, 2022. The Blue Raiders first game was scheduled to be against Lower Dauphin tonight.
Another issue facing the situation was some football players transferring to neighboring schools.
Steelton-Highspire Superintendent Mick Iskric Jr. confirmed to FOX43 that Bamm Appleby, Middletown’s former quarterback, has enrolled at Steelton-Highspire.
Coach Andrew Erby with Steelton-Highspire confirmed that Appleby is in good standing and that Steelton-Highspire will not accept any transfers that are implicated in the hazing incident.
According to Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association (PIAA) rules, all transfers must sit out for 21 days following the transfer. The 21-day sit-out is automatic for any in-season transfer even if both schools sign off on the transfer, according to the PIAA.
FOX43 News You Tube Video-
Following the announcement that the Middletown School District has canceled their high school football season, multiple meetings were held at the high school on Wednesday night to address concerns. “They have children now that are crying, they are upset. You have these parents that are now upset because they have to discuss to their children ‘Hey, your season is done [and] there is nothing we can do,'” said Zu Taalib, a Middletown parent. Taalib also called on the administrators to do better. Read the full article here: https://www.fox43.com/article/news/lo…
SUPERINTENDENT LETTER – 8/24/22
It is with great regret that I’m writing to share with you that we have obtained additional videotape showing another Middletown Area High School Football hazing incident which took place inside our heat acclimation room. Unfortunately, this video demonstrates that this hazing was much more widespread, and involved many more students, than we had previously known.
In light of this, we have made the decision to cancel the 2022 football season. I know this decision will be met with many different opinions and emotions and will impact many students and families.
We have shared the new video with law enforcement officials and will continue to work to complete our own investigation. Any students found to have participated in this incident will be disciplined in accordance with our student code of conduct and hazing policy. Any staff members who were found to have ignored this kind of hazing will also face disciplinary action.
The kind of hazing that occurred in our facilities with this team is reprehensible. It simply cannot and will not be tolerated. We know we must work to address the culture of this team, educate our student body about hazing, and put programs in place to help us ensure that this kind of atmosphere is never allowed to exist in our school facilities.
Our administrative team and athletic director will work to find other opportunities this fall for our cheerleading team and marching band, since they will be impacted by this season cancellation. We will also work to make alternative plans for Homecoming, which is typically scheduled around a football game.
We’ll communicate additional information as we’re able to do so, and as we work through this investigation.
Again, I know this is difficult news. We’ll work to bring our school community together in a positive manner as we move forward into the new school year.
Dr. Chelton Hunter
Superintendent of Schools